It was never guaranteed that Tyler Anderson would make it to the majors. He missed all of 2015 with a elbow fracture. While he spent the most of the year rehabbing, he was doing any preparation he could to get himself ready for 2016.
He would watch the Colorado Rockies on his computer, do lower body workouts, watch fellow rehabbers throw bullpens, and occasionally see his teammates in Albuquerque for a week at a time. He got creative with his preparation and his determination led him to one of the best rookie seasons for any Rockies pitcher.
He was drafted in the first round in 2011 by the Rockies after posting 285 strikeouts in three season at the University of Oregon. He suffered his first stress fracture in his elbow in 2013 and was put on a pitch limit in 2014. That year was his best as a minor-leaguer as he had a 2.08 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 112.1 innings. He was named Texas League Pitcher of the Year when he played with the Tulsa Drillers.
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Anderson has overcome a lot to get here and didn’t debut right away in 2016. He started the season in AAA Albuquerque where he only pitched 17 innings going 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA. Apparently that was enough to get Anderson to the big leagues and he got his debut in June of 2016.
He became a force in the Rockies rotation going 114.1 innings with a 3.35 ERA with 99 strikeouts. His 5-6 record was mainly due to lack of run support early on in the season. He mixes his pitches effectively with a deceptive changeup.
He had the lowest ERA by a Rockies starter through 16 games in franchise history. He told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that his goal for 2017 is to throw more innings. The hire of Bud Black will only help Anderson’s development.
If Anderson can avoid injuries, his preparation and changeup can make him earn a much lower number on this list. He has the potential along with Jon Gray and Jeff Hoffman to build a young core of pitching that has the opportunity to be the best rotation Denver has ever seen.
Check out number 68 on the list Chuck McElroy here.